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Keeping your team on track at work is important. Here are some of the best ways to improve productivity, stop email and other distractions from sapping your time in the office, and get the most out of your team and your workday.
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Remember To Explain Why
Putting tasks into context can motivate teams to tackle them more effectively. Make sure that your team knows how each piece of work will impact the project, how it will benefit the company or the customer, and how it can count towards their personal development. The more knowledgeable and clued-up your team feels, the more enthusiastic they will be at getting down to work.
Think Twice Before Booking Meetings
The statistics about time wasted in meetings can be pretty alarming. Did you know that 67% of employees say too many meetings stop them from their best work done, and 68% of professionals say that poorly organized meetings are wasting their time? To combat these scary stats, you want to make sure you are not having a meeting unless you really need to. When you do need to hold a meeting, schedule it first thing, have a plan and do not invite people who do not need to be there. At the end of the meeting, make sure that everyone leaves with a list of the next steps.
Improve Time Management
Organizing your day more effectively does not just help you to get more out of it. It can also reduce the productivity-sapping stress of jobs that just keep on piling up. When team members are working remotely, good options for tracking time and attendance become even more critical. If people do not control their working hours, it can be easy to overstep boundaries, cause problems with work-life balance, and productivity to drop.
Recognize And Reward Your Team
There is a link between rewarding a job well done and team productivity. Employees definitely see things this way. Recognition makes people want to work harder, and this makes them more productive. Rewards and recognition have had to change with the move to remote and hybrid working. For example, you can’t take someone out for lunch anymore, but remote workers are just as important. Organizations can use communication platforms to make sure they are still recognizing achievements through team-wide notifications and send rewards like vouchers and gifts to both remote and frontline workers.
Encourage Short, Frequent Breaks
Presenteeism, which is just being present at your desk for long hours during your workday, does not improve productivity. Despite the fact that many businesses seem to value this, working for hours on end can be the fast track to burnout. Instead, taking regular breaks from desks or workstations can help people to feel refreshed and to clear their minds. It can also help your team to avoid the musculoskeletal problems that desk workers can face, especially when they are working from home. Taking regular lunch breaks will help your team to recharge their batteries too. Find ways to make this your company policy and remind people about the policies regularly.
Automate Where You Can
Technology has never been more efficient or more readily available, so why are you wasting time on tasks that could be taken care of by artificial intelligence or automation software? A small investment in automation today could free up lots of time and resources which can be put into more useful tasks. Your team will be better able to concentrate on more interesting, valuable, and rewarding work.
Delegate Efficiently And Work Collaboratively
If there is an uneven spread of work across your team, then it is time to correct the imbalance. Make sure that you have good visibility of all your team member’s workloads and empower people to delegate some of their tasks when they need to. Set an example by delegating your own workload too. Not only is this an effective way to improve your personal productivity, but it can also empower your other team members to become more productive and more collaborative.
Organize Regular Check-Ins With Team Members
Remote or hybrid working does have a lot of positive aspects, but employees might start to miss the opportunity to socialize with their colleagues in the workplace after long periods of relative isolation. Luckily, there are lots of ways to keep in touch with team members even if you can’t all meet up face-to-face. Schedule in some regular times in the week to have one-to-one or group catch-ups in an informal way. Helping people to feel connected could go a long way in improving their productivity.
Take Stock Of Results At The End Of Each Period, And Then Aim To Beat Them
There is no point in trying to improve the productivity of your team if you don’t know what your current productivity levels are. Think about some ways to measure output and performance by tracking hours against value creation and understand the challenges that people faced along the way. Then, during the next work cycle, try to tackle the challenges that you identified and see if this can improve performance.
Use Productivity Tools And Planners
From smartphone apps to online collaboration platforms, productivity tools and planners have come a long way, and when you take into account the rise in popularity of both remote and hybrid working, they are likely to only increase in popularity. There are a lot of different types of productivity tools out there to suit all types of business. You can take some time to find out the right tools for you.
How To Measure And Improve Productivity
Measuring and improving productivity within your team doesn’t have to be a headache for you. If you approach these improvements with a simple three-stage strategy, you will find it to be much more manageable.
The most important step that you can take is to either build or buy a dashboard to help you measure productivity. Doing this should help you to quickly visualize the number of tasks that are going on in your team, the hours that are being spent on each task, and once a task is complete, how profitable each job was when you measure it against the forecast. This data will prove to be essential when it comes to the next stage of this strategy.
The dashboard that you have set up should make it immediately obvious where there is room for some improvement by showing you where more time was spent than the forecast. Sometimes, it will be immediately clear what has caused this shortfall in productivity, but if you cannot work out what the answer is straight away, you can answer a few questions to give you the information that you need:
- Are we allocating team members the right kind of tasks?
- Is the amount of work right for the number of team members involved?
- Is the work being evenly distributed?
- Is the technology we are using up to date and right for the task? Do team members understand how to use it all?
- Do team members need training or a refresher course?
Once you have identified the areas that need improving, don’t stop. Optimizing productivity is a constant process. Each revision, no matter how big or small will deliver benefits to your business. Stay on top of trends in your industry, be prepared to make some adjustments when you need them, and always be on the lookout for the technology to empower greater productivity in your team.